Communicate your arrival to friends and family

Create a communication plan with anyone that will want to know you have arrived safely. The first 48 hours of your arrival can be busy. You may not have internet access immediately, especially if you are on an exchange or direct-enroll program where you'll need to set up your own internet connection. As soon as you are able, be sure to send a quick text, Facebook post, or email that you have safely arrived. Make sure everyone involved has a clear understanding of when they can expect to hear from you, so that they aren't unnecessarily worried.

Maintaining Duo Multi-Factor Authentication While Abroad

When you go abroad you may find yourself with a different SIM card, phone number, or phone entirely. However you decide to maintain your communications while abroad it’s likely your access to Duo will be impacted. Duo is necessary for access to UVM email, Brightspace, and other essential UVM services. You are expected to check your UVM email regularly and respond to messages from the OIE while abroad, so please make sure you understand clearly the following:

1. Generate a batch of Back-up Access Offline Codes using your current phone number.
b. Follow the instructions under MFA using Offline Codes > Generate Backup Access (Offline) Codes
2. Once overseas: Either continue to use single-use backup codes (and use the last code to get your next batch of codes) OR update your UVM Duo information with an overseas SIM card/phone number.
a. You can add devices to your Duo MFA here:
b. Once you return from your program, please be sure to remove the international SIM/phone number from Duo if you do not plan to keep it.

Plan ahead on how you will keep in touch with your support network and program staff. Consider your mobile phone options ahead of time to ensure you can still access necessary UVM services while abroad.

Keeping in touch with friends and family while abroad

Your friends and family back home will want to be in contact with you while you are abroad. There are many ways to easily be in touch with them, and the ways that work best for you will depend on your program, location, and personal preference.

  • Free apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, and others are an easy way to connect, but they do require an internet connection or data plan. Some programs, especially field-based programs, may not have internet access available all the time. You should always ask your program provider or host university about internet availability and the best ways to communicate with friends and family. 
  • Some students bring their US-based cell phones with them abroad and purchase a local SIM card in their host country. They then install this SIM card on their phone, so that they are able to connect to a local cell service provider. 
  • Some students purchase a local phone while abroad, typically an inexpensive flip-style phone, which comes with a local plan (often "pay as you go") so that they can call and text while abroad. They often also bring their US-based smartphone to use as a device on wifi networks. 
  • You can work with your US-based cell carrier to sign up for an international plan before you go, but this is typically the most expensive option.

Communicating with UVM while abroad

It's important to keep in touch with UVM and OIE while you are abroad. Check your UVM email regularly, since that is how UVM will communicate with you about class registration, important events/requirements, financial aid, and other topics. You can also use your UVM email to contact OIE and other UVM offices with any questions or concerns. While OIE is happy to help you with any questions or concerns you might have, you might find more detailed information from other offices on some subjects. 

  • For questions about transfer credits, contact Transfer Affairs:
    • If your study abroad course list changes once you are abroad, OIE recommends that you email your new list of courses to Transfer Affairs. They can tell you how your new courses might be transferred back to UVM.
  • For questions about UVM class registration, contact the UVM Registrar:
    • For semester/academic year study abroad students: If you are unable to register for classes at your assigned time while you are abroad due to travel, lack of internet access, or other reasons, please be sure to designate someone (a friend, parent, etc) to be a proxy for you. They will need your class registration log-in information and a list of classes you would like to register for, including back-up options in case some are unavailable. 
  • For questions about UVM financial aid or your UVM bill, contact Student Financial Services:
  • For questions about your academic requirements at UVM, contact your Academic Advisor

For questions and concerns that are more specific to your program or host university abroad, like about your housing, study abroad course registration, and other similar topics, it's usually best to contact your host university or program first before UVM. This is because they will often be able to help you more quickly, and will be more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the program or host university.

Keeping in touch with OIE on social media

The Office of International Education is active on social media. Connect with us and share your experiences abroad with the UVM community!

  • Facebook:
    • We share study abroad-related articles and events on Facebook, in addition to study abroad options and application deadline information
  • Instagram: @uvmstudyabroad 
    • Use #uvmabroad or #uvmstudyabroad to have your photos featured on our page!
  • UVM Study Abroad Blog:
    • become a guest blogger for us by submitting a blog post and a photo or two, or if you are already writing a blog, share a post with us!